Rep. Wild Leads Bipartisan Letter Urging Administration to Donate Unused Vaccines Around the Globe
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the White House’s COVID-19 summit today with leaders from around the world, Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) is leading a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress urging the Biden Administration to donate unused vaccine doses that would otherwise expire to developing countries urgently in need of more vaccines.
With vaccination supplies abysmally low across much of the developing world and with deadlier, more contagious variants like Delta surging across the globe, it has never been clearer that the only way to end the pandemic in our own country is to vaccinate the world. Such a policy would leverage America’s leadership on the world stage—benefitting our allies, partners, and the American people in our shared, global fight against COVID-19. Rep. Wild is joined by House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) Chair Gregory Meeks and HFAC Ranking Member Michael McCaul on her letter to President Biden.
The lawmakers wrote: “We support the continued efforts to combat the pandemic around the world, including previous commitments made to donate vaccines, bolster critical supply chains, and prioritize global health security. Thanks to American ingenuity, U.S.-manufactured vaccines are the key to safely and effectively ending this pandemic. Unfortunately, foreign adversaries are exploiting this pandemic and leveraging their substandard vaccine donations for political influence and concessions. Vaccine diplomacy is a critical and pressing foreign policy challenge.
“However, the speed at which critical donations are being provided, and appropriated funds are being transparently allocated, is neither matching the desperate urgency of this deadly pandemic nor fulfilling the previous commitments that have been made. Around 58% of people around the world have yet to receive a single shot. At the current rates of projection, vaccination, and donation, we believe the US will have a substantial number of unused doses at the end of the year, many of which are at risk of expiring. The U.S. must rapidly work to ensure our surplus vaccines do not go to waste. Providing our allies and partners with additional vaccine doses is not only the right and moral thing to do but is also in our strategic national interest.
“In order to meet this challenge at scale and while we still have time, we request that you swiftly implement a process for redirecting unused vaccines to meet global demands and urgently support efforts to ramp up vaccine production capabilities. We ask that you press our allies and partners with large quantities of unused vaccines to commit to a similar process. The U.S. should also prioritize efforts to address logistical and messaging challenges in the delivery, distribution, and administration of vaccines. Doing so will be critical to combating misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and ensuring that key populations—including in remote and underserved areas—will have access to the vaccine.”
In addition to Rep. Wild (PA-07), the letter is co-signed by HFAC Chairman Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), HFAC Ranking Member Michael T. McCaul (TX-10), Rep. Colin Allred (TX-32), Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02), Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), Rep. Tim Burchett (TN-02), Rep. David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Rep. J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-50), Rep. Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Rep. Robin L. Kelly (IL-02), Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Rep. Young Kim (CA-39), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Rep. Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Rep. Kathy Manning (NC-06), Rep. James P. McGovern (MA-02), Rep. Peter Meijer (MI-03), Rep. Marie Newman (IL-03), Rep. August Pfluger (TX-11), Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45), Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09), Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09), Rep. Dina Titus (NV-01), Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51), Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02), and Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY-01).
The full letter is available here.